Here's why you should not believe in most forward chain messages

Express News Service | Published: 01st November 2016 04:50 AM

CHENNAI: These days if a message has the word ‘cancer’ in it, you can bet a million bucks that it will go viral, and will pop up months later in inboxes too. One such message is about how people should stop getting those scratch cards because it contains a cancer causing agent and gets stuck to the finger nails when scratched.

The message even claims that this is a new type of cancer caused by Silver Nitro Oxide. The message reads, “Dr. of the United States has found new cancer in human beings, caused by Silver Nitro Oxide. Whenever you buy recharge cards, don’t scratch with your nails, as it contains Silver Nitro Oxide coating and can cause skin cancer...” 

We’re sure that the science buffs are probably ROFL when they read this message, as firstly, there is no such compound called ‘Silver Nitro Oxide’. And if at all there’s a compound in existence, there are no credible scientific reports to prove its present in the scratch ticket coating. In fact, the results that have come up when just Googling the compound name shows that this message is a hoax.

According to reports, the coating on most scratch cards is basically made from specialised latex or UV inks. The only two compounds that could exist instead of ‘Silver Nitro Oxide’ is nitrous oxide and nitric oxide but silver does not have any connection to these two chemical compounds. Additionally, both these compounds do not have any significant effects on human health…certainly not cancer!

Some similar messages also attribute the discovery to a researcher named Brian Berry in the US but, investigations have proved that there is no one by that name working in any scientific research institute. Therefore, like we’ve been repeating on a weekly basis, please be judicious when you forward such false information about something as serious as cancer, because it can create needless panic among users of social media.

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